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Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update 3 - Advancing our Cyclone Condition status to YELLOW

Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update 3 - Advancing our Cyclone Condition status to YELLOW

24th January 2024

Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update 3 - Advancing our Cyclone Condition status to YELLOW

From: Scott Marshall [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, 24 January 2024 5:13 PM

To All Our Marina Customers and Residents,

Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update 3 (Wednesday 24 January 2024)

The most recent advice from BOM narrows the Warning Area from Lucinda to Sarina. At the time of writing, the Low has yet to progress in to a Cyclone and that development in to a Cyclone is now predicted to be some time early tomorrow morning with a coastal crossing still thought to be late Thursday.

There are models that have predictions for the possible path for TC Kirrily to the north and south of Townsville some time late tomorrow afternoon or into the evening. Despite the prospect of the system moving above or below Townsville, the distances are marginal and we will expect regardless, really high winds and gusts and intense rain. This uncertainty of the systems intensity and area to cross the coast serves to demonstrate the importance or staying vigilant with preparations to boats and having personal emergency plans ready. Breakwater’s Cyclone Management strategy therefore continues to be around Planning and Preparing for the worst.

At the time of writing, Breakwater has remained in our normal Cyclone Condition Green up to this point but with the proximity of the system to the coast and the likelihood the system will develop in to a cyclone tomorrow and possibly cross the coast within 24 hours, we are advancing our Cyclone Condition status to Yellow.  

As circulated through Breakwater’s previous Cyclone Updates, Condition Yellow requires all Boat owners to be finalising their cyclone readiness measures and it specifically requires Boat Owners with Boats sitting up on Air Docks to lower them in to the water. This action is deliberate to lower the wind loadings and it is compulsory.


Finalising Your Vessel Readiness Measures

TC Kirrily is forecast to develop in the early hours of Thursday morning and cross the coast over or near Townsville. Consequently, we can expect winds to increase throughout the day and rain to build later in the day.

We will expect winds to shift from a generally southerly direction as the cyclone approaches and for the direction to shift right around from the north as the system crosses the coast and moves inland. For this reason, it’s vital to have a minimum of 2 sets of mooring ropes that includes 2 sets of fore and aft running spring lines. These spring lines restrict the boat moving forwards and backwards in its Berth as the wind direction changes between the bow and stern of the boat.

The other key and common sense readiness measures to take are:

  1. Reducing your onboard wind loadings (covers, sails, clears),
  2. Stowing all loose equipment (jerry cans, chairs, boxes),
  3. Closing any openings to minimise water ingress (windows, doors, hatches) and
  4. Making sure your automatic bilge pumps are working


Be Prepared for Voluntary or Mandatory Evacuation

Picking up our directions in earlier Cyclone Updates, the Cyclone is expected to form early tomorrow morning and have an impact on our coast tomorrow afternoon. Consequently, we will inevitably  advance our Cyclone Condition from Yellow to Blue first thing tomorrow morning and will most likely progress to our final Condition Red in the middle of the day. 

  • The Cyclone Condition Blue is the last opportunity for boat owners to prepare their boats for the onset of severe weather and to be ready for the advancement of the Marina’s Cyclone Condition to Red.
  • The progression to Condition Red is looking very likely tomorrow and that requires Boat Owners to conclude their readiness measures and to prepare for marina utilities to be turned off. It was set-out in the last Cyclone Update that should the prevailing condition be deemed sufficiently dangerous for people to remain in our coastal location, we will require an evacuation order to be given instructing all Marina users to seek out refuge at a safer location. Right now, Kirrily is set to cross sufficiently close to Townsville that the evacuation of all persons and users from the Marina looks to be necessary. We’ll be monitoring the system closely and will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible tomorrow.


For our Marina residents in particular, it is our recommendation that you Plan for where you will evacuate to and when you will go. It is advisable to voluntarily leave the Marina Precinct before the conditions deteriorate so that you’re not driving the streets when it’s unsafe.  

We will continue to monitor the Tropical Low updates from BOM and other forecasters and will provide our Marina customers with notices of any notable changes to the predictions for anticipated formation of TC Kirrily and the corresponding changes we make to our Cyclone Warning System in accordance with our Cyclone Management Plan (CMP). If you have any questions or would like assistance getting your boat prepared for severe weather or checking its readiness, please don’t hesitate to speak with a Marina staff member.

Scott Marshall    |    General Manager          
Contact me via:


Breakwater Marina has moved to Cyclone Watch condition when there is an intensifying risk of a cyclone or associated weather storm, impacting the Townsville region. Cyclone Watch reports are issued at 6 hourly intervals. If you intend on taking your boat out of the Marina, you must do it now before conditions become too unsafe to do so.

There is a growing risk the cyclone or weather system may impact Townsville and in spite of that risk not being assured, it is vital boat owners make use of this time to advance their preparations before conditions deteriorate and become dangerous.

If the Vessel is staying in the Marina, your preparations Include:

  • Finalise your Evacuation Plan, ready your Emergency Kit, fuel up your car
  • Vessels on Airdocks must be lowered into the water. Make sure you add ropes to the dock and your boat back to the pontoons so they stay retained in your berth.
  • Your Mooring Lines will have been replaced as needed so Double the number of lines in use. Add a second full set of mooring lines and use alternate tie-off points, remembering to reset the position of your boat so it won’t ride up on the pontoons when your ropes are at full stretch.
  • Reduce all wind loadings, with particular attention to removing or heavily lashing furled sails and closing main sail bags and lashing them shut. Take down tarps, covers and biminis.
  • Secure Your Tender - Deflate and stow inflatable dinghy below, otherwise secure them on deck or on davits with extra ropes ensuring bungs are removed and water can drain out. Dinghies may be put in the water as long as they’re secured to the pontoons.
  • Shore Power - Make preparations to disconnect your shore power and to turn off all on board appliances. Prepare to shut off gas cylinders and gas powered appliances.
  • Ready spare Fenders all around your boat
  • Check Batteries are charged all bilge pumps and your generator are working and your alternative charge sources like wind and solar are working.
  • Close all your Openings in to the boat like windows, hatches and lockers. Make sure all known leaks are sealed and all deck drains are clear...
  • Owners of Multi-hull Vessels to discuss the prospect of temporary berth relocations off T-Heads with Marina Management.